The fact that we are in a different division after 13 years does not affect my excitement when the fixture list is published. I particularly looked out for Brentford and Brighton and we are playing both teams in late November. We always seem to play Norwich and beat them at the end of the season and they are our last fixture.
On the face of it our squad is sufficiently strong even without the youth input to achieve promotion but it does not always work out that way. QPR for example had to take the play off route with a Premier league team whereas Burmley astounded all with automatic promotion with far less resources.
Now that England is out before the team postcards have arrived home I’m searching for a team to follow. My guide is Fulham players : Bryan Ruiz made me cheer on Costa Rica, I could not really identify with Mitroglou of Greece as he only started one game. I was for Iran because of Dejagah and the USA who Clint Dempsey skippers. Dear old Philippe Senderos aka Ponderous was up to his old tricks for Switzerland: no surprise France put 5 past a defence with him at the heart of it.
As for picking a winner, I still go for Argentina. Experience shows that the team that come fast off the blocks-France, Columbia, Costa Rica, Holland- do not win but rather the team that grows in stature throughout the tournament.